In the busyness of modern life, it’s important to take time for self-care. If time is limited, it’s easy to neglect ourselves and believe that the needs of our family and colleagues should come first. However, it’s worth remembering that self-care is our most basic need. Without taking time for ourselves, we struggle to meet the needs of those around us. To take care of our loved ones, we first need to take care of ourselves.
Although fitting in ‘me-time’ can be tricky, there are a few ways to make it easier. If you’re feeling a little stressed out, start by changing into a comfortable yoga T-Shirt to help you relax. Below, we explore how to find time for self-care.
Before we continue, let’s discuss what self-care actually is. Simply, it is anything that you need in order to function at your best. Regular exercise such as yoga or weightlifting counts as self-care, as does showering, brushing your teeth, and getting ready in the morning. As well as fulfilling your basic needs, it’s important to make time to relax and recharge. If you enjoy reading, making time to read each day will make you feel happier and more confident. As a result, you will become more productive in other areas of your life. Acts of self-love can also be considered as self-care including buying clothes that make you feel good, getting a massage, or quitting a job that you hate.
If you don’t set time aside for self-care, it’s easy to fill your day with other necessities. To fix this, you need to separate time for yourself from the rest of the day. Setting the mood will help you to focus on yourself and forget about work-related stresses. Some people choose to change into comfy clothing as soon as they get home. This simple process can instantly affect your mood by signaling to the brain that it’s time to relax. Even if you still have chores to do in the house, changing into something comfortable can make a big difference.
If you’re struggling to manage your workload, setting aside a full hour for self-care can seem impossible. Instead, try dividing up your time into smaller chunks. Rather than enjoying self-care all at once, breaking up the time can make it easier to manage. If you enjoy working out, squeeze in 10 minutes of HIT before leaving for work. If you have another pocket of time later in the day, you can continue the workout then; if you don’t, at least you’ve managed to fit in 10 minutes.
To fit in self-care, it’s often advised to wake up earlier. However, if you’re not a morning person then getting up early can feel like a chore. As self-care is about feeling good, rising earlier may be counterproductive for some. If you need a full eight hours of sleep, use self-care to make sure you get it. If you have to be up by 7, make a mental note of the time you need to go to bed. To give yourself time to wind down, set an alarm an hour before your bedtime. During this time, get ready for bed and use the remaining time as ‘me-time’. If you enjoy reading, curl up with a good book and take time to chill.
It’s worth remembering that self-care if different for everyone. To successfully make time for self-care, you’ll need to set your own rituals to stay on track. To wind down, it is advised to disconnect from technology. Although this is great advice, it can be hard to break the habit of flicking through social media. This is where setting your own rituals can be helpful. If you struggle to put your phone down, disconnect from the internet a couple of hours before bed. This way, there is no temptation to scroll through your news feed. Instead, you can spend that time reading, meditating, or listening to peaceful music. If you can’t stay away from technology, opt to listen to a podcast instead of flicking through Instagram. As well as being informative, the repetitive talking can lull your mind into a state of relaxation.
Another way to create a ritual is by setting a weekly appointment with yourself. Just like you would with a meeting or conference call, schedule me-time into your week. If you’ve already set time aside, there is no reason to avoid taking it for yourself. Many people have a preconceived belief that taking me-time is selfish. If you are busy with work or family life, you may feel that taking an hour for yourself is greedy. However, it’s important to remember that self-care isn’t a luxury. To function at your best, you need to make sure your basic needs are being met.
If you’re still struggling to make time for self-care, try setting yourself a goal. If getting in shape would make you feel happier, sign up for a future race or event that you can’t back out of. As you will need to train for the event, this commitment will make exercise a priority. For others, exercise may be less important when it comes to self-care. If this is you, use the same goal-setting approach on something different. If you enjoy reading, set yourself the goal of finishing one book a month. Although this may be harder to stick to as there is no commitment, you’re still more likely to make the time if you’ve got a goal in mind.
Whatever stage of life you’re at, self-care should be a priority. Taking steps to become happier and more confident will allow you to better yourself in other areas, including work and family life. If you’re pushed for time, gradually introducing me-time may be easier than taking it all at once. To begin, just change into some comfy yoga leggings as soon as you get home from work. Although this may seem pointless, comfortable clothing can make all the difference when you’re trying to relax.